International Ice Hockey Federation

Kylington for the big stage

Kylington for the big stage

Top prospect likes chances with U18 team

Published 24.09.2014 20:06 GMT+2 | Author Peter Westermark
Kylington for the big stage
Oliver Kylington is one of the highest-rated players on this year’s Swedish U18 national team. Photo: Werner Krainbucher
Swedish defenceman Oliver Kylington is a highly touted prospect not only for the next draft but also on the U18 national team.

”It’s all in our hands,” he said after a game against Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup back in August. But against the Canadians they noticed there’s still some work to do.

“To be honest, they were the better team and played a classic Canadian physical game,” he explained. “Some of our guys were maybe not used to that. But if we end up facing them again, I feel we can win. I was really only in the third period that they pulled away from us.”

For Kylington, who plays for Farjestad Karlstad in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), this season is sure to be an exciting one. After arriving in with a bang as he became the youngest player ever to score a goal in the SHL last year and suiting up for 32 league games and 12 playoff contests, he is looking at a bigger role with his club team this year and also – increased attention from scouts, agents and other hockey people.

“I don’t think about who might be in the stands,” the mobile two-way defenceman explained. “I feel that the way I play has gone well, so that’s what I’ll continue to focus on.”

Always eager to learn and develop, he has gotten valuable advice from his Farjestad teammates, such as team captain Rickard Wallin and defenceman Magnus Nygren, how played for Tre Kronor at the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship and returned to Sweden in the past season after a short stint in North America.

“They have told me a lot about what it’s like to play in North America and what’s ahead, both on the ice and off the ice,” he said. “I also played in the same pairing as Nygren for a while, after he returned.”

Continue reading

A natural talent with a lot of playmaking ability, the Stockholm-born Kylington was also a promising football player as a child. He opted for hockey when he was 11 years old, after suffering a pulled groin just before the Gothia Cup, a massive youth football tournament in Gothenburg that gathers 1,600 teams from 80 nations.

“I was just about to shoot the ball, but pressed to hard and injured myself. After that, I made sure that I got the rest I needed to be ready for the hockey season.

“And to be honest, I always thought hockey was a bit more fun even though I enjoyed the football and still play with friends at times.”

The choice of sport has turned out nicely for Kylington, who doesn’t come from what one would describe as a typical hockey background. His mother is from Eritrea, not yet known for their hockey. His dad was involved in sports, but his sport was handball, where he played at a high domestic level.

“I also have a kid brother and a couple of cousins who are involved in sports like basketball, but not necessarily at the elite level, so I don’t think we’re the typical hockey family.”

But on the Swedish U18 national team he comes equipped with the most senior league experience.

“It’s hard to explain how it helps since it’s a totally different type of game in junior hockey,” said Kylington. “You have to be a lot more patient at the senior level and make sure that you don’t commit defensive errors. It helps having played that type of game also.

“I always try to learn new things as I go along.”


Back to Overview